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The City of History and Culture Okayama City

Okayama Castle

A famous Okayama tourist spot constructed in 1597, it is also called the “Crow Castle” due to its striking black exterior. The castle’s stately three-layer, six-floor tower is said to imitate Warring State period hero Oda Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. The tower’s foundation is a scalene pentagon, a rarity in Japan. Materials related to Okayama are on display on the first to the fourth floor, and the fifth and sixth floors serve as an observatory. In the tower, you can make a traditional kind of ceramic ware called “bizenyaki,” as well as try on a kimono. Everyone from children to adults are welcome.

* The Warring States period was from 1467 to 1615. The government lost its authority, and rulers made a sea of variously sized states throughout Japan, leading to territorial wars. (Other explanations exist as well.)

Address: 2-3-1 Maru-no-uchi, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
Access: Walk five minutes from JR Okayama Station’s East Exit (Korakuen Exit) to the Okayama Ekimae tramway stop. Get on a Higashiyama-bound train, and get off after five minutes at the Shiroshita stop. From there, it’s a ten minute walk.
Hours: 9:00-17:30 (Admission until 17:00).
Admission Fee: Adult - ¥300, Elementary/Middle School Students - ¥120. Okayama Korakuen & Okayama Castle Joint Adult Ticket - ¥560, Elementary/Middle School Students - ¥260.

Recommended Spots With a View of Okayama CastleOkayama Korakuen Garden

Okayama Korakuen is considered one of Japan's top three gardens, along with Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and Kairakuen in Mito. Its spacious grounds offer a nice environment for a leisurely stroll. The garden is registered as a Special Scenic Location under the Cultural Properties Protection Law. Construction on Korakuen began at the order of the Okayama feudal lord Ikeda Tsunamasa in 1687, and was finally finished fourteen years later, in 1700. While it was subsequently modified somewhat to fit feudal lords’ tastes, its original form has been basically passed down to us today. From the garden one can gaze upon Okayama Castle and Mt. Misao. During the spring, plum trees, cherry trees, and azalea bloom, and the summer features beautiful Japanese iris and lotus flowers. In the summer and fall, an evening illumination “Fantasy Garden” event is held. The free smartphone application “Okayama Korakuen Navi” introduces the garden’s attractions in five languages. Starting in April 2016 free WiFi will be available.

Sights to See at Okayama Korakuen Garden

Water drawn from the Asahi River meanders throughout the garden’s premises.

The Ryuten Pavillion is the only garden building that escaped damage during World War II. A waterway runs through its center.

Address: 1-5 Korakuen, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
Access: Walk five minutes from JR Okayama Station’s East Exit (Korakuen Exit) to the Okayama Eki-mae tramway stop. Get on a Higashiyama-bound train, and get off after five minutes at the Shiroshita stop. From there, it’s a ten minute walk.
Hours: 7:30-18:00 (October 1st to March 19th: 8:00-17:00)
Admission Fee: Adults - ¥400, Elementary/Middle School Students, Senior Citizens (65 years & older) - ¥140. Okayama Korakuen & Okayama Castle Joint Adult Ticket - ¥560, Elementary/Middle School Students - ¥260.

The Okayama Downtown Map - Convenient for Sightseeing!

Using the Tax-free Counters

Read the Manga

Information

The Momotaro Tourist Information Center is fully stocked with informational pamphlets on tourist attractions not only in Okayama city but Okayama prefecture and the Chugoku and Shikoku regions as well. It offers all kinds of information, from reviews of attractions to upcoming events. Please stop by!

Address: 6-go-saki, Ichibangai chika, Ekimotomachi, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi
Access: Right near Okayama station. Click for a map.
Hours: 9:00-20:00

Other Sightseeing Spots

Bicchu Kokubun-ji Temple

This five-story pagoda, an Important Cultural Property, has become a symbol of the Kibiji area. It is 34 meters tall. The first three stories are made primarily out of Japanese zelkova, and the fourth and fifth stories pine. A Kibiji Lotus Flower Festival is held yearly on April 29th.

Address: 1046 Kanbayashi, Soja-shi, Okayama-ken
Access: Ten minutes by car from JR Soja Station.
Hours: 7:30-17:00

Kibitsu Shrine

The main hall and worship halls have paired wing hip-and-gable roofs, and are designated National Treasures. In April mountain tree peonies bloom at the shrine. May then brings azaleas, and June hydrangeas.

Address: 931 Kibitsu, Kita-ku, Okayama-Shi, Okayama-ken
Access: A ten minute walk from JR Kibitsu Station.
Time: 8:30-16:00
Closed: The Kamadono Hall is closed Fridays, the second Sunday of May and October, and December 28th.

Inujima Island

Inujima Island, located in the Seto Inland Sea, once flourished as a sight of copper smelting. Artwork can be found at places throughout the island, including the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, related to the themes of cultural heritage, architecture, and the environment.

Address: 327-4 Inujima, Higashi-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
Access: From JR Okayama Station, ride the train for twenty minutes to JR Saidaiji Station. Then, take the Ryobi Bus approximately fifty-five minutes to the Nishihoden stop. Walk five minutes to Okayama Prefecture Hoden Port, and get on the ferry. It’s a ten minute ride.

  • List of Okayama Tours
  • List of Okayama City Lodgings
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